Difference Between Ptosis and Blepharoplasty

While both Ptosis repair and Blepharoplasty have to do with treating the eyelids, they are completely different surgeries. Ptosis “droopy eyelid” refers to the condition where the upper eyelid(s) droop due to muscle weakness. Ptosis can occur in both eyelids but more commonly we see it in one eyelid causing an asymmetry which can be very frustrating to an individual, especially in photos. Excess, loose and sagging skin as well as puffiness or fat can affect both the upper and lower eyelids and make us look older or more tired than we really are.  Blepharoplasty or eyelid surgery, can help improve the appearance of the eyelids. Both surgeries can be performed on both eyes or just one. The surgeries can even be performed together, depending on the look the patient would like to achieve.

Ptosis Repair

Drooping skin on the eyelid accumulates over time as aging occurs. Besides cosmetic reasons for the surgery, the drooping skin can also begin to cover the pupil of the eye, affecting vision. In order to correct this, the surgeon will tighten the muscle to pull the skin back. The eyelid muscle, the levator, has a main function of raising the eyelid so it can function correctly. When it is tightened the eyelid is able to maintain its correct position.

A ptosis repair is done by making a small incision in the normal crease of the upper eyelid. Once the levator muscle is located, it is stitched to the desired height. The skin is stitched up and can be removed 7 to 10 days after surgery. During recovery, patients can expect swollen, dry eyes and temporary blurred vision. Most patients are able to return to work just days after surgery.


Blepharoplasty is becoming more and more popular, ranking second behind rhinoplasty. Sun damage, smoking, genetics, weight fluctuations and other factors can all affect the tightness of skin on the eyelids. The sagging, puffy and tired look of the eyes can have a big effect on the general appearance of a person. By removing excess fat and skin from underneath, on top, or both parts of the eye, the surgeon can create a younger look for the eyes.

An incision is made along the lash line for the lower eyelid in the natural crease of the upper eyelid to remove the excess skin. Just like a ptosis repair, patients can experience swollen, dry eyes. Lubricating ointment is usually recommended to aid the healing process. Scarring is minimal since incisions are made in areas that are not noticeable or hidden. Patients can return to work after three days, but normally take a week and need to refrain from exercising for two weeks.

Both surgeries can greatly affect the overall look of the eyes. They offer long lasting results, but patients should know they can’t fight aging signs forever. Come in and talk with Dr. Sabini to discuss the options and figure out what action plan is best. Visit us online or call today to schedule a consultation!